Recently, my attention was drawn to a trending news headline: “Bishop Oyedepo sacks 40 pastors for low income from their branches”. On a closer look, I realized that there is something wrong. This caption is misleading and untrue. We may not agree with the method used by the church, but a false narrative is a danger to everyone.
Unfortunately, some bloggers and media personnel have insisted on pushing the wrong narrative because most of them are paid to look for how to paint selected ministers of God and churches in a bad light. They are agents of some politicians and political parties for pushing antichurch narratives aimed at social engineering. The earlier we understood that the better for us.
In the video from which the news was curled, the pastor said the reason he was disengaged was the fact that he did not meet up with Church Growth Index. Evidently, there was an objective yardstick for measuring what was expected from him. This he was aware of before his employment. That is to say he was given expectation and he knew the outcome if same was not met. If he wasn’t comfortable with that, there was no need taking the employment. Complaining now after the terms of his agreement were followed to letter amounts to shifting the goalpost in the middle of the game while playing on the emotions of the masses.
The gentleman in the video also orally added that the church didn’t want to operate at a loss and that by that they meant that the branch he pastored should be able to generate enough fund to take care of him. I do not see how this translates into sending money to the headquarters. At any rate this is a modest and prudent expectation. So if the income generated by the church couldn’t take care of the pastor’s needs, who should do so? Evidently the church didn’t want to rob Peter to pay Paul hence they needed to either bring in someone else who could do what he couldn’t do or simply close the branch.
Some people have tried to argue that the pastor was called by God and as such, the church shouldn’t “uncall” him. Such jejune and infantile arguments are product of people trying to be teachers in subject they know nothing about. The church is as physical as is spiritual. While the church is a spiritual entity–the body of Christ governed by the word of God–it is also an NGO just like any other NGO and governed in that regard by the Laws of Nigeria–including the CAMA and other employment laws. The pastor’s calling is spiritual while his employment is legal and physical and subject to terms and employment laws. If the terms of his employment were not met, then he was to expect the agreed result. It would be unfair for him to expect the church to continue to honour an agreement that he has fundamentally breached.
As for his spiritual calling (if he has any) that one doesn’t change. He might have been called by God, no one is arguing that. But he might not have been called to Winner’s Chapel. Terminating his employment doesn’t amount to uncalling him. They are mutually exclusive. He could either go and use his spiritual calling to start his own church or humble himself withing Winners Chapel and learn from other pastors. Who knows, he may prove himself and get another employment over time. He could even use his calling to pastor a cell group or a house fellowship. But paid employment is a different ball game entirely
One On Air Person has argued that even Jesus did not sack Judas after he betrayed Jesus. Nothing could more betray a distorted understanding of the scripture or a deliberate wresting of same than such insipid argument. After Judas betrayed Jesus, he didn’t even give Jesus an opportunity of sacking him. He walked out on Jesus at the Last Super to go betray Him and never came back. The next time Jesus would see him, he was leading a pack of soldiers who came to arrest Jesus–effectively ending the physical organization. So there was nothing from which he could be sacked even if Jesus was to sack him.
Apart from that, Judas was not in a paid employment so the issue of sacking him doesn’t even arise. He was simply a volunteer who stuck around at his own terms. There was a time Jesus gave a teaching and more than 5,000 disciples and 60 volunteers withdrew from him. Peter and others stayed back at their own terms. While Peter stayed back because of the Word of Life, Judas stayed back because he wanted to continue stealing from Jesus. One may argue that Jesus didn’t send him away despite his stealing. Yes, Jesus didn’t send him away because he was relevant for his nuisance value. He was chosen to betray Jesus and his tolerated evil traits were relevant for fulfilling that mission.
In conclusion, I’d advise people to be careful of those who’s only aim is to pull others down and dent hard earned reputation in the process of riding on same to gather clouts. Hate Bishop Oyedepo all you want, that’s your cup of tea. But be weary of distorted narratives. They only produce ill wind that blows no one any good